To ensure holistic growth of horticulture, the government has launched the Horticulture Cluster Development Programme (CDP). A central sector programme implemented by the National Horticulture Board (NHB) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, CDP aims at growing and developing identified horticulture clusters to make them globally competitive.
The programme will address all major issues related to the Indian horticulture sector including pre-production, production, post-harvest management, logistics, marketing and branding. The programme is designed to leverage geographical specialisation and promote integrated and market-led development of horticulture clusters.
CDP will benefit about 10 lakh farmers and related stakeholders of the value chain. With this programme, there is an aim to improve exports of the targeted crops by approx. 20% and create cluster-specific brands to enhance the competitiveness of cluster crops.” CDP is expected to attract an estimated investment of INR 10,000 crore when implemented in all the 53 clusters.
The clusters of the pilot phase include Shopian (J&K) and Kinnaur (H.P.) for Apple, Lucknow (U.P.), Kutch (Gujarat) and Mahbubnagar (Telangana) for Mango, Anantpur (A.P.) and Theni (T.N.) for Banana, Nasik (Maharashtra) for Grapes, Siphahijala (Tripura) for Pineapple, Solapur (Maharashtra) and Chitradurga (Karnataka) for Pomegranate and West Jaintia Hills (Meghalaya) for Turmeric. These clusters will be implemented through Cluster Development Agencies (CDAs) which are appointed on the recommendations of the respective State/UT Government.
The programme is expected to converge with other initiatives of the Government such as the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund which is a medium – long term financing facility for investment in projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets and will leverage the central sector scheme of the Ministry for Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmers Producer Organisations (FPOs).
The Cluster Development Programme has a huge potential to transform the entire horticulture ecosystem improving its global competitiveness by building last-mile connectivity with the use of multimodal transport for the efficient and timely evacuation and transport of horticulture produce.
The programme framework will ensure an astute engagement of state governments through CDAs, and institutionalization of learnings for future replication and scaling up of the programme in other clusters. The Cluster Development Programme will not only help in achieving economies of scale but also create cluster-specific brands to entrench them into national and global value chains bringing higher remuneration to the farmers.
Categories: POINT IAS
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